Predators general manager David Poile wanted to add a “big-time forward” to his roster. Today, he got one, acquiring winger James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins in return for winger Patric Hornqvist and center Nick Spaling.
Neal, 26, had 27 goals in 59 games last season. He scored a career-high 40 times in 2011-12. He’s signed through 2017-18, for a cap hit of $5 million.
Hornqvist had 22 goals in 76 games last season. His career best is 30, in 2009-10. The 27-year-old is signed through 2017-18 for a cap hit of $4.25 million.
Spaling is a 25-year-old restricted free agent who had 13 goals and 19 assists in 71 games last season.
While the Preds get a “big-time forward” to play in new coach Peter Laviolette’s up-tempo, offensive-oriented system, the Pens will be hoping they’ve added a scoring winger that hasn’t yet had the opportunity to play with centers like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. They’ll also be happy to add Spaling, who should provide some much-needed forward depth.